The value of hay preservative this year

It’s going to be a tremendous year, quantity-wise, for hay and forage production. But those same weather-related reasons that are pushing up tonnage levels can also play havoc on quality issues. Make sure moisture problems do not get in the way of your good hayland management.
Agtegra feed division manager Scott Kilber says this may be the year to consider using a hay preservative. “Going this route, a good hay preservative allows producers to bale at higher moisture contents, while preventing leaf and nutrient loss to mold and rain damage,” says Kilber.
These products may also be invaluable on some of the Prevented Planting (PP) acres, notes Kilber. “We’ve got a lot of millet and sorghum-sudangrass crosses going in on PP fields,” says Kilber. “Using a preservative when you go to bale them up this fall can make a world of difference between putting up a premium bale over a spoiled one.”
Molds can grow in hay at moisture levels as low as 20%. Research conducted by Kemin Industries, maker of Fresh Cut® hay preservative,  showed when hay was baled at 20% moisture levels, leaf loss was 20%; when hay was baled at 15%, there was 30% leaf loss. “That’s the value of preservative,” says Kilber. “You don’t have to compromise nutrition value to avoid the scenario of putting up hay that has potential for mold growth.”
The organic acid-based Fresh Cut® is user-friendly and is easy on baler and application equipment, notes Kilber.
While there’s no substitute for good management practices of hay ground, the use of a preservative like Fresh Cut® to reduce rain-damaged hay and better manage your windrowing window has real economic value. “Our goal is to produce the most tonnage of high quality hay as possible,” says Kilber. “A preservative is one way to enhance a producer’s feed investment.”
For more information, contact your nearest livestock feed location or Dakotaland Feeds sales nutritionist.

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